Sunday, October 31, 2010
Revolution Highway - a novel by Dilip Simeon
Revolution Highway is a novel by Dilip Simeon which revolves around characters during first naxal uprising or spring thunder and world politics of that time. Though it is categorised under "fiction" the facts in the book make it a travelogue in the past. At first we should thank Dilip Simeon for writing a book about naxalites at present political turmoil.
In the present situation it is really hard to read the book without any prejudiced. The decisions and path of the comrades of those days will make us to compare it with the present day comrades and it is happy to note that the present day comrades and the movement has moved on from "chairman Mao is our chairman" to "New Democratic Revolution".
Has India changed from those days? Ofcourse technologically we have advanced, we have nuclear weapons, billionares, trillionares but.........." Rahul gets urge to defecate at night 10' o clock. Mohan, Pranav and Rahul staying in an urban slum. Rahul goes to a playground. Pranav - ' Bustee women using it now?'. Mohan - ' No, they shit soon after dark'". Though the scene in the novel ends with humor it reminds us that this is one of the thousand things that has remained unchanged from past days.
As one can expect the novel ends by commenting about the superiority of the non violence movements over armed revolution. Nevertheless there are many discussions between the characters which make us to think in both ways. Whenever we opt for a revolutionary path, we will be the minority who has to face many questions of prejudiced minds. In the book there is really good picturisation of conflicts in the revolutionaries mind before becoming a full time party worker and their emotional blackouts with parents when leaving home to go underground.
Rathin, a character who is philosophical and against armed revolution initially immediately goes underground just because of facing apathy by 2 officials. Since he didn't had ideological clearance he gets disappointed in his early encounter with the masses. Revolution doesn't come in a single night.
We will leave the review of each and every character to the reader. Towards the end pranav has a doubt whether the movement is expanding or extinct? The present day gives answer to his doubt.
In an heated argument between Mohan and Rathin, Mohan says that the masses will understand the role of revolutionaries in due course. At those times the party dreamt about capturing the power by 1975. Rathin disapproving with Mohan says that party will not capture power even in 1995. Thanks to the present party leadership and cadre that they dont have any day dreams. The present CPI - Maoist party which inspite of spreading the support areas to vast part of country, they know that their path to seizure the power is still a long way to go. May be 50 or even 100 years.